By now, the benefits of ditching your car for a day or three or three hundred are as well known as your grandmother’s Facebook password (hint: it’s her cat’s name, all caps). We’ve heard it all: health benefits, cost savings, mood enhancement, saving the world, look better in tight pants, you name it. If you came of age in the last 30 years, it’s just common knowledge by now. Add to that the growing prevalence of electric assist bikes and you’d think these United States would be the envy of Amsterdam by now.
So why aren’t the streets clogged with bikes, ruling the pavement while your great-uncle putters along in his ailing, rusted Hyundai Excel?
Well, it’s complicated. But it’s getting simpler.
The first hurdle in commuting is often not the bike. It’s not the street traffic. It’s the clothes. Packing your, ahem, personal bounty into a size 0.5 lycra body stocking before going into the office is a tough sell. We’ve watched the Tour de France and even those guys aren’t exactly pulling that scene off. Most of us have a look we like: it’s an expression of ourselves, it’s unique, and, for the most part, it flatters us.
What if we told you that, all that practically-sprayed-on clothing can be left to the middle-aged weekend warriors and the bird-chested Euro pros? What if we told you that you can continue to turn heads while leaving the car in the driveway, saving gas, the environment, and your waistline as you go?
Consider your sartorial bike commuting myths so so busted:
- “My boot cut jeans will get caught in the chain.”
- Elby’s drivetrain is enclosed in a weather-proof sheath that keeps your pants legs clean and your chain well-lubed. Also, boot cut jeans are so back again.
- Padded shorts?
- Elby’s saddle is a far cry from the heiny hatchets worn by pro riders. Your sofa finally has competition.
- Warm clothing?
- Sure, you’ll want an extra layer as you’re rolling in your own personal 20 mph jet stream, but that could be anything from Mr. Rogers’ fave cardigan to Drake’s puffiest windbreaker.
- Maybe with other bikes. Elby’s high torque motor will do most of the work while you soft pedal your way through your own breezy wind tunnel. Unless it’s Tempe in August, we suggest leaving this one to the sweathogs on traditional two-wheelers.
- Helmet hair?
- Pack a comb. Probably the only non-negotiable on this list, and for good reason. Helmets save lives. The ones available today are lighter, more comfortable, and more stylish than ever before, so don’t be shy about it.
Remember, bike commuting is a habit. The first few times will be an adjustment to something new and different, but that’s what growth and change is all about. By the end of the first week, though, most people are hooked and riding that momentum for all its worth. Do it on an Elby, and you’ll be a convert before you get home.
And you’ll look damn good while you do it.